The director of operations at the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Niyi Ali, last Thursday, October 17, nearly snuffed life out of a principal staff of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Dr. Chukwunweike Ojeah for challenging his (Niyi’s) alleged reckless driving within the railway compound in Ebute-Meta, Lagos.
NewsGazette gathered that Ojeah was about to board a tricycle at a spot within the railway compound after the close of work on the night of that day when the driver of an incoming Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) who happened to be Alli nearly hit him.
According to a source, Ojeah protested verbally against the act.
Alli was said to have been infuriated as he pulled up his vehicle at a distance and came out to meet the victim of the near hit.
He was alleged to have assaulted Ojeah physically during the exchange and went further to hit his face with a stun gun.
“The director parked his car and came out to query the audacity of the medical doctor to challenge his driving. A heated exchange ensued between both men. In the process, the director brought out a stun gun and hit Ojeah in the face and thereafter began to rain blows on him,” said an eye witness who craved anonymity.
It was further gathered that after the beating, Alli invited the police area commander for NRC, Mr. Alami Adegoke to arrest Ojeah.
However, the source said when Ojeah disclosed his identity, the police stayed action.
Meanwhile, the FMC has remonstrated with the NRC management about the assault on its staff.
It stated in a letter marked FMCEB/HR/0532: ‘Report of assault on Dr. Chukwunweike Paul Ojeah’ that Alli hit the victim on the face and lacerated his nose and eyebrow.
The petition dated Friday, October 18, 2019 and signed by FMC’s assistant director of administration, Mr. H. H. Etim on behalf of the medical director, was addressed to the managing director of NRC, Mr. Fidet Okhira.
FMC stated that the assault victim had been on admission at the hospital since the incident
“Mr. Niyi Alli ordered the area commander to send for his men to pick him and lock him up. At this point, Dr. C.P. Ojeah introduced himself with his identity card as a fellow public servant serving with Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta. On hearing this, they abandoned him and took off with their vehicles.
“Dr. Ojeah in his agony went to the NRC Police Command headquarters and lodged a report where he was advised to seek medical attention for stabilisation. Ogeah is currently on admission receiving medical attention in the hospital and assault,” FMC said.
Incidentally, it was gathered that Ojeah’s wife is a staff of the NRC
However, it was gathered that Alli is not new to assaulting people and co-workers at the slightest provocation.
Sometime in 2018, he was said to have hit a fellow staff after accusing the man of insubordination.
The matter, it was learnt, was treated administratively by the NRC management.
However, apart from Alli, there are some other aggressive directors in the NRC.
It was learnt that the current director of procurement, Mr. Ben Iloanusi earlier in the year threw a stool at a staff of the account department “for not paying my vouchers.”
Besides, he was said to have slapped co-worker sometime in 2018.
On the latest assault, NewsGazette attempted unsuccessfully to get reaction from the .NRC management.
Efforts to reach its spokesman, Mr. Mahmood Yakub on phone were abortive.